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uae human rights

Geneva, November 20, 2017

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ICJHR) in Geneva expresses serious disquiet over the human rights situation in the UAE and the country’s methods of treating Human Rights cases, which are at odds with its recently established Ministry of Tolerance.

The ICJHR deplores the continued violation of the rights of political activists, jurists and bloggers in the UAE. This is ongoing despite the creation of the post of Minister of State for Tolerance in 2016, as part of the mandate letter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, declaring the promotion of tolerance, empowerment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

In keeping with his role, the Minister of Tolerance should intervene for the release of human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor who is still imprisoned by the UAE. He was arrested by the State Security Service on March 20, 2017, because of his online activism and defense of human rights activists.

However, despite the many international demands calling for his release, including a letter submitted by the UN institutions and bodies, Mr. Ahmed Mansoor is still detained. None of the combined international pressure has seen any progress toward his release, nor has it prevented his rights from being violated, even his receiving of the Martin Ennal Award for Human Rights Defenders in 2015.

The ICJHR is also still waiting for the Ministry of Tolerance to seek the release of human rights activist and lawyer Dr. Mohammed Al-Roken, who was arrested on July 17, 2012 and subjected to enforced disappearance, torture and ill-treatment. He has been denied all fair trial guarantees, and despite his winning of the Ludovic Triario Human Rights Award of 2017, and the numerous petitions of bodies representing lawyers and human rights activists calling for his release, he it still imprisoned to date and not acquitted.

The ICJHR is further hoping to see the Ministry ensure the rights of Emirati women to personal security and dignity, among the other civil and political rights due to them. In particular the Centre asks for the release on health grounds of Alia Abdulnour, who is currently under strict guard in a ward at Al Mafraq Hospital in Abu Dhabi since cancerous tumors spread throughout her body. Whenever her family files a complaint to the Crown Prince and other senior officials about her treatment by the prison and hospital authorities, undermining her dignity and depriving her of appropriate treatment, Emirati officials respond by denying them the right to visit and intensifying their abuse of Alia Abdulnour.

Furthermore, the ICJHR calls for the release of Amina al-Abdouli, a mother of 5 who was denied fair trial guarantees and who on October 31, 2016, was sentenced to five years of imprisonment and a 500,000 dirham fine (US$ 136,000) by the State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court, whose verdicts are final negating the right to appeal.

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights has sent a letter to the Ministry of Tolerance about the situation in Al Razeen and Al Wathba prisons of gross human rights violations against detainees including politicians, human rights activists and bloggers. These individuals have been abused, humiliated and searched in a degrading manner, stripped naked and touched on their intimate body parts, and put in solitary confinement for the most trivial reasons.

All of these cases are in a flagrant breach of Federal Law No. 43 of 1992 on Regulating Penal Institutions, in addition to the other international standards for the treatment of prisoners and persons subjected to any form of detention.

By means of this statement the ICJHR renews its appeal to the UAE to apply and implement the principles of tolerance, which require the preservation of human dignity and humane treatment for all persons.. . The above cases must be addressed with urgency, especially since the individuals mentioned have not committed serious crimes and are solely imprisoned because of demands for reform that contained no call for violence or terrorism.

The International Centre for Justice and Human Rights recalls that the United Arab Emirates is preparing to demonstrate its accountability before the Human Rights Council on the occasion of the Universal Periodic Review in January 2018, and therefore calls on the Minister of Tolerance to:

  1. Release all human rights activists, bloggers and reformists who are detained, stop violations of the rights of Emiratis and non-Emirati nationals by the authorities, provide reparations and rehabilitation to the victims, and hold accountable all those responsible for these violations; in addition, the UAE should promptly join the international treaties guaranteeing civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, and lift all its reservations to the conventions to which they have already acceded.
  1. Establish a national human rights institution that works in conformity with the Paris Principles, as previously promised by the UAE, which shall have as its primary concern the protection and promotion of human rights within the country, and the monitoring of all violations of these rights.